Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thanks to Mac and Time Machine

8 days ago the hard drive on my MacBook Pro died. It was 2 and half years old. Fortunately, I had Time Machine backups and had purchased the Apple Care Protection plan which lasts 3 years. I had not got around to registering it and so had to. This all went pretty smoothly. An Apple technician came and picked up the computer, repaired it, and returned. This took 8 days, but there was a 2 day delay because I had to get the registration done and approved.
The Time Machine backup worked beautifully.
This is a lot better experience than I ever had with PCs that died. Repair always took much much longer and restoration of backup was much messier.


  1. I bought a Dell XPS laptop when I started my PhD, and it was stolen and replaced, then I dropped it while cycling, and it was repaired (replaced the monitor, which was cool to watch), then the graphics card melted, and it was repaired again.

    Each time, the technician or new laptop arrived within 2 days. I was very impressed.

    That being said, I just bought an imac, and once the new release comes out, I'll get a macbook pro or air. All in all I've been unimpressed with the quality of my Dells.

    But the repair/replacement stuff was prompt and easy.

  2. I guess you guys just aren't familiar with Frankenlaptop, then. Use an external keyboard and mouse and a USB DVD burner, and add copper shims under the heat sinks, with thermal paste. Swap drives and format and reinstall often. You can even reinstall from an external USB drive.

  3. My last experience with Time Machine was unimpressive. After reinstall, certain permissions were scrambled (I forget which, but things were slower and sometimes didn't work at all). I may have been installing across machines...

    I use SuperDuper!, the free version of which can create a bootable image of my drive with one click. Having a bootable disk image is a life saver - it hedges against failures of file system and disk. Even if your disk turns to dust in your computer you can still work. Intel Macs have no problem booting off of a USB drive - just hold down the option key immediately after you turn it on to get to the boot volume menu.

    During the Pacifichem2010 conference, my laptop died. Luckily, I had copies of my talks on my iPad. Now, I create a disk image to take with me prior to any serious trip, just in case.